Beyond picnics and summer fun, the Fourth to me is a time to think of the principals on which our country is based. On the struggle of the colonists oh so many years ago for freedom. Of what that freedom means.
To move away from the politics of the moment - to put aside property seisure rulings, gay marriage, right to die, freedom of choice, privacy rights, health care and prescription drugs - all of that mess.
To think of our country and the core of what it means and why it is truly good to be in a land founded on the belief that people have the right to make their own decisions about what and who to believe, about what they want to do with their lives. That people should and can have a say in how they are governed. No matter how flawed the implementation or the leadership might seem to be at times.
Saw a clip of the presidential speech today talking of the efforts of our troops in bringing freedom to others. I praise and support the troops, but today shouldn't be about our military - its actions, its prowess, or whatever. Today should be about the heart and roots of what it is to be American. That strive for what each of us believes is right, for what each of us wants to achieve - our ambition and devotion to ideals (even though we don't all agree, the debate is part of what's good).
Here's to what our country is all about.
Let's set aside what we're trying to prove elsewhere for just a day.